Sunday Moments

June 13, 2021
Time after Pentecost

The mustard seed becomes a great shrub that shelters the birds, recalling ancient images of the tree of life. We’d expect a cedar or a sequoia, but Jesus finds the power of God better imaged in a tiny, no-account seed. It’s not the way we expect divine activity to look. Yet the tree of life is here, in the cross around which we gather, the tree into which we are grafted through baptism, the true vine that nourishes us with its fruit in the cup we share. It may not appear all that impressive, but while nobody’s looking it grows with a power beyond our understanding.

Greeting

The grace that is Christ’s gift to us,
the love of God,
and the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace
be with you all.
And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

O God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world. Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

Old Testament Reading
Ezekiel 17:22-24

Tree imagery is used in a messianic prophecy to tell how the Lord will choose someone from Judah’s royal family (the cedar tree) to reign over all creation. This tree will be planted on Mount Zion, the location of the holy temple.
Family Camp Director Judy Smith
reading today’s lesson among the Calumet trees
for the 2021 New England Synod Assembly.

Psalm
Psalm 92:2-3, 3-4, 15-16

Psalm 92 – “Lord, It Is Good To Give Thanks To You”
by Francesca LaRosa

Gospel Reading
Mark 4:26-34

Jesus frequently uses parables to teach ordinary people as they are able to hear and understand. Images of sowing and growing show the vitality of God’s kingdom.

Jesus said, “The dominion of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, the sower does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once the sower goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Jesus also said, “With what can we compare the dominion of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Thought for the Day
From the ELCA Worship Blog for June 11, 2021

According to Mark, the explanation of the parables was given secretly to the disciples. But now this meaning is proclaimed openly in the church: God makes what is low and dry to be high and green. The central occasion of this action of God is found in the cross.

Walking by sight and not by faith, we all too often live only for ourselves, and we give special attention to people who appear high and powerful, as if they were the source of more life for us. But just as an annual bush — a scraggly bush that dies — is presented by Jesus as the very tree of life, just as the dry seed becomes a mighty harvest, just as God makes a sprig to be a mighty cedar, so against all appearances the cross of Christ’s death holds us into a new creation.

In the word proclaimed in our homes today and in the assembly when we gather there, the Holy Spirit brings us to nest by faith in the tree of life which is Jesus Christ crucified and risen. We eat and drink the fruit of that tree. Then we are invited to live not for ourselves but for him and for all the needy world which he loves.

Song of the Day
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Sung by Kirby Stalley, Calumet Alum

Deep River Collection for Low Voices
Arranged by Moses Hogan
© 2000 by HAL LEONARD LLC
Used with Permission

Prayers of Intercession

Let us unite before God in prayer.
A brief silence.

Holy God, Fount of blessings, we pray for the church: that the seeds of faith which you plant take root and grow; that those churches that are emerging from the pandemic re-gather their members in safety; and that you bless the church in Ethiopia and other places that are experiencing great distress.
Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for the earth: that the trees and plantings in national forests be protected; that farms around the globe be safeguarded from drought, flood, and pestilence; and that wild animals thrive in the habitat they require.
Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for the nations: that world leaders care for those in greatest need; that all prejudices cease; that the might of tyrants be halted; that journalists be kept safe from harassment; that the displaced find a welcome homeland; and that peace reign between nations.
Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for the aged: that they be embraced by their relatives and friends; and that their many needs be met. And we pray for the children: that they be protected from harm and danger; and that summertime give them opportunity to enjoy nature’s bounty.
Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray for health and wholeness: for countries where COVID-19 is accelerating and vaccines are not available; for relief agencies, that the hungry be fed; for those who are beaten down by poverty and homelessness; for those who are suffering from climate disasters; for any who are sick, especially those with no access to medical care; and for those we name here before you:
A brief silence.
Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

We pray finally for ourselves: that you give us the grace to welcome anything new that comes from you; and that in mercy you receive our private petitions.
A longer period of silence.
Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

For all who have died in the faith, and for those whom we remember here before you, we offer our thanks, gracious Redeemer. For all who will die today, we ask your mercy. And at the end that we join with all your people in the perfection of your presence, we pray.
Hear our prayers, O Giver of all goodness:
Grant us your life.

To you we pray, O God, our Source, Sovereign, and Strength, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

Blessing

The blessing of God,
who provides for us,
feeds us,
and journeys with us,
be upon you
now and forever.
Amen.

Dismissal

Go in peace.
You are the body of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

Upcoming Commemorations

Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea,
died 379;
Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa,
died around 385;
Gregory of Nazianzus,
Bishop of Constantinople,
died around 389;
Macrina, teacher,
died around 379

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Cappadocian fathers, as the three men in this group are known, explored the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Basil's monastic rule forms the basis for Eastern monastic life. Gregory of Nazianzus defended orthodox Christianity in Constantinople. Gregory of Nyssa, Basil's younger brother, wrote on the spiritual life. Macrina, older sister of Basil and Gregory of Nyssa, was the leader of a community dedicated to asceticism, meditation, and prayer.

Emanuel Nine,
martyrs, died 2015

Thursday, June 17, 2021

On June 17, 2015, Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Lee Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were murdered by a self-professed white supremacist while they were gathered for Bible study and prayer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (often referred to as Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina. Pastors Pinckney and Simmons were both graduates of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. A resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance for the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine was adopted by the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on August 8, 2019. Congregations of the ELCA are encouraged reaffirm their commitment to repenting of the sins of racism and white supremacy which continue to plague this church, to venerate the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine, and to mark this day of penitence with study and prayer.

Sources:

Thought for the Day & Prayers of Intercession from “ELCA Worship in the Home Blog”: https://blogs.elca.org/worship/4146/

Introductions, Litanies, Readings, & Commemorations: https://members.sundaysandseasons.com/Home/TextsAndResources#texts

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Calumet Lutheran Ministries
PO Box 236
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(603) 539-4773 ext. 211
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